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INTERVOICE (The International Network for Training, Education and Research into Hearing voices) is a formal organization that grew out of the hearing voices movement
In 1997 a meeting of voice hearers and mental health workers was held in Maastricht to discuss developing the further promotion and research into the issue of voice hearing. The meeting decided to create a formal organizational structure to provide administrative and coordinating support to the wide variety of initiatives in the different involved countries. The new network was called INTERVOICE holds annual steering group meetings, encourages and supports exchanges and visits between member countries and the translation and publication of books and other literature on the subject of hearing voices. INTERVOICE was incorporated in 2007 as a not for profit company under UK law. Its president is Marius Romme.
INTERVOICE is supported by people who hear voices, relatives and friends and mental health professionals including nurses, psychiatrists and psychologists. INTERVOICE members assert that the most important factor in the success of their approach is the importance placed on the personal engagement of the people involved, meaning that all participants are considered an expert of their own experience. They see each other first as people, secondly as equal partners, and thirdly as all having different but mutually valuable expertise to offer. This can either be through direct experience of hearing voices or having worked with voice hearers (and/or a desire to be involved).
INTERVOICE is critical of psychiatry in relation to the way the profession generally understands and treats people who hear voices and holds that their research has led them to the position that schizophrenia is an unscientific and unhelpful hypothesis which should be abandoned.
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